FantasySavvy 2012: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 10

As seen on Make sure to check there for a ton of great information.


You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.

*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.


Start ‘Em

Phillip Rivers @ Tampa Bay

Rivers will get it done against Tampa Bay; this secondary has been horrendous all year and Rivers has the experience and tools to succeed against them. Rivers will step up for your fantasy squads.

Josh Freeman vs San Diego

I doubted Freeman this season, but he has proved me wrong with 11 TD’s in his last four games and overall has had a successful season. Freeman should stay hot against San Diego who are just average against Fantasy QB’s ranked 15th in points allowed to QB’s.

Joe Flacco vs Oakland

After early excitement with Flacco and the Ravens no huddle offense, Flacco is now playing like the QB most of us thought he was. With no multiple TD games in his last five games it’s hard to trust the guy. But Oakland presents a favorable matchup as they are ranked 23rd in points allowed to QB’s. Look for Flacco to finally get a two TD game and approach 300 yards passing.

Sit ‘Em

Sam Bradford @ San Francisco

Don’t even think about starting Bradford this week, even in two QB leagues.

Michael Vick vs Dallas

After failing to really produce against New Orleans it is almost impossible to trust Michael Vick from here on in. Vick hasn’t played well, but his offensive line needs to take a lot of the blame, they have been atrocious. Every week he is getting crushed play after play. With Dallas and their top secondary coming to town, don’t even think about putting Vick in your lineups.

Matt Schaub @ Chicago

Chicago is 2nd best in points allowed to Fantasy QB’s and will no doubt frustrate the Texans passing game. Keep Schaub reserved.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

Michael Turner @ New Orleans

You know the drill, start any and all fantasy players against the Saints Defense. Turner excels in good matchups so expect him to score at least once in this game.

Willis McGahee @ Carolina

McGahee and the Broncos arguably have the most favorable schedule of any team in the weeks ahead. He didn’t come through last week in a solid matchup but you have to keep putting him out there because more times than not he will prosper in these types of matchups. Carolina has been 6th worst in points allowed to Fantasy RB’s.

Vick Ballard @ Jacksonville 

The Jags are allowing the 4th most points to Fantasy RB’s and got torched last week by Mikel LeShoure and Joique BellDonald Brown is most likely OUT for tonight’s game so Ballard will get a ton of burn. Great spot to start him.

Sit ‘Em

Steven Jackson @ San Francisco

You trade this guy yet? You know my feelings on this dude.

Shonn Greene @ Seattle

The Seahawks Run D has been vulnerable the last three weeks, but as a Jets fan I don’t trust Shonn Greene in these types of matchups. I foresee a 16 carry 50-yard scoreless game from Greene.

Jamaal Charles @ Pittsburgh

This is so hard for me to put Charles in this spot, this is my favorite player in the NFL. I will be starting him, because I don’t have better options, but if you have the luxury, think about it. The Steelers are giving up 2nd fewest points to Fantasy Backs and the Chiefs passing game and Defense have been killing Charles’ value. They are constantly playing from behind and Charles just doesn’t get enough chances to contribute. The coaching staff has also completely misused him. It’s really frustrating. Hopefully he proves me wrong this week and runs all over Pittsburgh.

Wide Receivers 

Start ‘Em

Torrey Smith vs Oakland

As Joe Flacco should get it going, look for Torrey Smith to get it flowing as well. Smith hasn’t played up to many owners expectations, but he should return provide a nice return of investment going against the Raiders and their average defense.

Brian Hartline vs Tennessee 

After a few quiet weeks from his 243-yard explosion, Hartline had himself another solid game against the Colts catching eight balls for 107 yards. The Titans are ranked 23rd in points allowed to Fantasy WR’s so Hartline has a great chance to succeed in this matchup.

Malcom Floyd @ Tampa Bay

Floyd has just two TD’s all season, but this is a spot you have to think about plugging him in. The Bucs secondary has been brutal giving up the 3rd most points to Fantasy WR’s and Rivers will be chucking. Look for Floyd to have a productive game.

Sit ‘Em

Jeremy Maclin vs Dallas

Maclin has been a disappointment all season, mostly due to Vick’s inability and the Eagles porous offensive line and he will continue the struggles this week against Dallas.

DeSean Jackson vs Dallas

Just like Maclin you can’t trust Jackson this week either. Dallas is giving up the 6th fewest points to Fantasy WR’s andMo Clairborne and Brandon Carr are one of the better CB tandems in the league.

Sidney Rice vs New York Jets

Just a bad matchup for the Seattle Seahawks and Sidney Rice against the Jets who are allowing the fewest points to Fantasy WR’s despite the loss of Darelle Revis. Antonio Cromartie has played better than I have ever seen him and has been routinely giving #1 WR’s fits.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Vernon Davis vs St. Louis

Davis has been stagnant in his last two games with just five catches for 60 yards but should get it going against the Rams the week. St. Louis is giving up the 8th most points to Fantasy Tight Ends and the 49ers know they need to start finding more creative ways to get this stud the ball.

Brandon Myers @ Baltimore

Carson Palmer’s Brother, Oakland Raiders

Myers broke out with two TD’s last week prompting many owners to snatch him from the waiver wire this week. Myers had been fairly steady with 4 to 5 catches and around 40-50 yards every week until finally getting his first two TD’s of the year. Myers kind of looks like Carson Palmer’s fatter older brother maybe that is why Palmer has targeted him 23 times in his last three games.  Keep Myers in lineups against Baltimore who can’t defend Tight Ends, ranked 22nd overall.

Dwayne Allen @ Jacksonville

The Jags have been pretty good against Tight Ends ranked 4th best, but I like Allen’s talent and the fact that Coby Fleener is out for another week. Look for Luck to target Allen a good amount in this game and for Allen to finish with around 50-70 yards receiving. I will take that from a Tight End not named GronkowskiGates or Graham.

Sit ‘Em

Kyle Rudolph vs Detroit

Rudolph has been ice cold since a hot start, so keep him reserved until he proves he can produce again.

Scott Chandler @ New England

If Chandler doesn’t score he doesn’t produce. This is another guy that you really can’t trust. Stay away.

Brent Celek vs Dallas

As noted, the Eagles offense has been a huge disappointment. Celek is no exception. Dallas is 7th best at defending Tight Ends so you need to keep Celek reserved.


Start ‘Em

Aldon Smith vs St. Louis

Smith has been heating up in his last few games and now has 7.5 sacks on the year. The Rams are allowing the 7th most sacks and are giving up the 8th most points to Fantasy DE’s, so this is a juicy matchup for Smith.

Ed Reed vs Oakland

With Carson Palmer and his pass chucking, turnover prone ways coming to town, you need to get Reed in your lineups. I always envision a Reed pick six versus a QB like this.

Sit ‘Em

Greg Hardy vs Denver 

Peyton Manning has been the 2nd least sacked QB this year, mostly because of his doing. Therefore there will be limited sack opportunities for Hardy and this Carolina pass rush.

Jarius Byrd vs New England

Byrd is averaging just 3 tackles a game this season, but does have three interceptions. However, going against Brady and Gronkowski his interception opportunities will be limited. Keep him benched.


Fantasy Breakdown (1 O’clock Games)

By Al Squatrito



Panthers vs. Ravens


Rumors have it that Head Coach John Fox may no longer be the coach of the Carolina Panthers in 2011, I’m sure that doesn’t bother him too much as the Panthers look dreadful in 2010. Matt Moore is on i.r., DeAngelo Williams just went on i.r., T Jeff Otah, and LB Thomas Davis have also subdued to injury reserve. Julius Peppers, one of the best defensive players for the Panthers was traded to the Bears last year for a six-year contract. The Panthers will look to play third string quarterback Tony Pike on Sunday when they will be home hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Rice was making some noise to the media this week saying, “Big game is coming where the numbers will be great.” Ray Rice no doubt has the talent of elite running backs in the NFL but hasn’t put it all on display as consistently as he had in his rookie season last year with the Ravens. Coaches want to keep players healthy as long as they can and if they can secure a win without wearing down their star players, they will do just that. The Panthers rank 27th against the run and are surprisingly 5th against the pass, maybe that’s why Ray Rice thinks, knows he will have a monster day against them this week. Start Rice with confidence this week and look at Joe Flacco to take a back seat and watch his running game take off all game. I would bench Flacco if I had Eli Manning, Shaun Hill, Vince Young, Carson Palmer, Troy Smith, Jon Kitna, Matt Cassel, or Mark Sanchez on my bench. I know the Ravens will have plenty of opportunities to score this week, but their defense and run game is all they will need to take this game over. I wouldn’t start any Carolina Panther this weekend unless you’re season is already over and you wanted to make some sort of sick joke out of it. There may be a shutout in Bank of American Stadium in week 11.

Bengals vs. Bills
If the Bengals lose at home this weekend to the Buffalo Bills I would assume none of the players inside that locker have any respect for their head coach. Marvin Lewis is certainly on the hot seat as his team swept the division last year and made it to the playoffs. If the Bengals lose this week it will mark their seventh straight loss in a row. Ouch. That is the main reason why I don’t think they will lose at home even though they are devastated with a 2-7 record. Their schedule is one of the toughest in the NFL this season. Should we give them some………….sympathy? I expect Cedric Benson to have his best day of the season on Sunday playing against the worst rushing defense in the league. Fred Jackson should play decently well against the Bengals as they give up 4.3 yards a carry on the ground, but I think the Bengals defense will play a bit better this week to prevent a 7th straight loss, despite giving up 329.3 yards a game. The Bills are giving up 373.7 yards a game. I don’t think Ryan Fitzpatrick, Steve Johnson, or Lee Evans will have a great day in fantasy because the Bengals secondary is one of the best in the NFL regardless of what the stats say. I don’t think Terrell Owens will have the best day this weekend because the Bills run game is dreadful so the Bengals will shift more to the run game and may play with a lead. I also feel as though Ochocinco needs to start playing more consistent. It is very ugly inside the Bengals locker room right now, if Ochocinco doesn’t get more balls thrown his way, it can only get uglier. I like the Bengals to finally get a win and show us why they were a playoff team last year.

Cowboys vs. Lions
Finally the Cowboys get a win and show-off their talent on both sides of the ball by beating the Giants last weekend. They got a solid win without Tony Romo behind center. With the Lions keeping games within arm’s reach they still broke the NFL record for most road losses in a row with 25. Their run defense on the road has been horrific and Felix Jones is starting to emerge for the Dallas Cowboys.  Defensive end Cliff Avril is also in danger of missing a second straight weekend for the Lions with a thigh injury and if it’s one thing the Lions have going for them on defense this year, it is their front four. They have been playing lights out football and compete with the elite front fours in the NFL. This would be a significant loss for the Lions this weekend if Avril is a no go. Jahvid Best still suffers from turf toe on both feet while they will monitor his carries and give fullback Jerome Felton some of the load. I like Jerome Felton as a low-end flex play this week if you can take a risk. Jahvid Best should have a decent day in ppr leagues as the Cowboys seem to give up a lot of yards to running backs in coverage. I love Dez Bryant as a number two wide receiver this week with huge upside and I think Roy Williams will have a solid game against his former team, along with former quarterback Jon Kitna. Skies the limit on terms of fantasy points for both teams.  Jason Garrett is 1 and 0 as a head coach and I think he keeps it going to 2 and 0 this week at home.

Jaguars vs. Browns
What an exciting finish it was last weekend for the Jags vs the Texans with a Hail Mary bomb caught by Mike Thomas at the end of the game. That may have been the biggest bang for your buck all season long at the closing seconds of regulation. I like the Jags to win again at home this weekend against the Browns. The Browns can definitely keep this game close with the Jags defense letting up 4.3 yards a carry and ranked at 2t against the run. The Jags pass defense is ranked at 28 but don’t forget they play Peyton Manning twice a year. The Jags pass defense can make some plays and I think they will against rookie quarterback Colt McCoy this week. I just want Colt McCoy to surprise me once more and show me he can get a win on the road as a rookie, I don’t see that happening. Peyton Hillis will have a monster game and Ben Watson should be a solid start as well. Pocket Hercules (MJD) has picked it up after a slow start, and David Garrard has been playing consistently well, scrambling for extra yards, and making plays with his legs. They are both strong number one plays this week in fantasy as the Browns are ranked 20th against the run and 23rd against the pass. I think the Jags should win this game by 10 points.

Chiefs vs. Cardinals
Arrowhead Stadium is supposed to be the hardest place to play at in the NFL and the Cardinals have lost to the Chiefs the last three times they have played in Arrowhead, but Derek Anderson can give them a chance to win in week 11 (Editors Note- Derek Anderson?). The Chiefs are 4 and 0 at home and will look to be 5 and 0 as former offensive coordinator for the Cardinals takes on his old team. Concerning for the Chiefs however is their rushing attack has slowed down as they averaged 2.1 yards a carry on 51 attempts last week against the Broncos defense who currently ranks 30th overall against the run. This is why stats sometimes lie as teams can be mentally ready to play well and have a good game plan going into their upcoming battle. If the Chargers are expected to take over the AFC West division, they are going to have to win some games, but the Chiefs and Raiders who are currently on top of the division will have to lose too. Beanie Wells says he feels better now than he did before his knee surgery but I still wouldn’t start him unless you are desperate this week. I like to see it to believe it even though he is a tenacious athlete but Tim Hightower is averaging over 4 yards a carry and has looked better. Larry Fitzgerald knows how to dominate AFC teams and I expect him to have a great day this weekend. Don’t forget Derek Anderson (Editors Note- Derek Anderson again?) went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, the Cardinals aren’t going to be tricked too much by the Chiefs this weekend and I expect them to keep it close in Arrowhead. Dwayne Bowe should keep up his solid play and should be started in all formats.

Vikings vs. Packers
What a perfect game for Brett Favre to be his last. It probably won’t happen unless he gets injured, but don’t the Vikings have to evaluate Tavaris Jackson going forward? If the Vikings lose they are definitely out of the playoffs, what’s the point in seeing Favre finish out the rest of the season? Logically, from a coaching standpoint, you have to evaluate your possible quarterback of the future at a time like this. Forget the Favre legacy because it will no longer be about that anymore. I don’t think the Vikings have a chance to beat the Packers this weekend despite the fact that the Vikings defense will play their hearts out in a close game. The Packers defense isn’t too shabby either, and Clay Mathews is in the hunt to win MVP this year. Donald Driver may be a game time decision with a thigh injury but we will know more going into pregame warm ups. I consider James Jones a must start as he had a breakout game two weeks ago with 123 yards and a touchdown. I hope you listened to me and picked him up in your league as he is now owned in 41 percent of fantasy leagues. I think Brandon Jackson is a decent flex play this week just because Aaron Rodgers can always move the ball and will setup scoring opportunites for Jackson. Sidney Rice may be activated for the Vikings this week which of course can only help, but that has yet to be determined.  I expect Visanthe Shiancoe and Adrian Peterson to have the best days in fantasy for the Vikings because they are the only two players on their offense that will allow the Vikings to get a win. They are their best playmakers period. Oh yea I almost forgot about Percy Harvin, expect another solid game from him. I like the Packers to win by 4 points but if Favre becomes a double agent again, they can easily lose by 13.

Jets vs. Texans
The Jets almost lost to the Browns in overtime last weekend but that still doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best teams in the NFL. The Patriots lost to the Browns a few weeks back so there. The Jets pass defense has been put into question a little bit this season, not that they are playing bad, but expectations are very high. They are currently ranked 16 against the pass this season but  have only let up 16.7 points a game to their opponents. It is going to be a tough win to pull out as a Texan on the road this weekend, but if there are a few teams that can do it against the Jets, I consider the Texans to be one of them. The Texans run offense has been the best in the NFL this season while their passing attack has taken a back seat, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sling the ball around with the rest of them. The Texans did beat the Colts on opening day to show the world they can also compete with the best, this is one of the reasons why I think they can beat the Jets on Sunday. The stats say the Jets win by 7 points but I tend to think differently it will be within a field goal’s reach. I would like Ladanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene this week if the Texans pass defense wasn’t ranked dead last or if the Jets are up so much that they just pound the ball to close the game out, but I don’t see that. There are so many options to go to on the Jets’ offense that I would only guess to stick with the hot hand and say that Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller are great plays this weekend. Also Braylon Edwards should have a fairly decent game. I think Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter will be key factors in this game for the Texans and can be plugged into fantasy lineups for some solid points. Johnson will be covered by Revis, but it’s hard to sit him unless you have great depth. I expect the Texans to start off slow but change the pace as the game goes along and possibly get the win. This is a going to be a great game.

Steelers vs. Raiders
What a revenge game this will be eh? The Raiders are going into this game watching film on last year’s win at Heinz Field. The Raiders are playing with confidence and are averaging 4.9 yards a carry while the Steelers are only giving up 2.8 yards a carry. This is going to be a dog fight and Namdi Asomugha should be back in the lineup to improve the Raiders defense comes Sunday. This is a game that will show us that speed kills because that is one thing the Raiders have going for them heading into week 11. I personally believe Bruce Gradkowski gives the Raiders the best chance to win but the Raiders are sticking with Jason Campbell’s hot hand. I like the Steelers to win this game at home but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost again. Zach Miller is back healthy and I expect him to do great things for the Raiders as well as Louis Murphy. The raiders are getting healthy. The Pittsburgh Steelers pass defense is ranked 26th in the league and Troy Polamalu will be playing hurt if he plays at all this weekend (listed as questionable). This is going to be a low scoring game and a great one to watch. I think Rashard Mendenhall has potential for the best fantasy day out of all the Steelers. Hines Ward will be back and ready to play and can also be a factor as a solid number three wide receiver this week. I like the Raiders upsetting the Steelers again this year in week 11.

Titans vs. Redskins

The Titans got smoked last weekend at Miami giving them their first home win and lost to the Dolphins with their third string quarterback in. That’s not very thrilling to see as a Titans fan going into week 11 facing an embarrassed Redskins team who got waxed on Monday Night by Ron Mexico, A.K.A. Mike Vick. His jersey was sent to the Hall of Fame after the win. The Titans rank 25th against the pass and I think Donovan is going to have to take advantage of that while the Titans rush defense ranks 9th overall. Still I believe Mike Shanahan will get things going for his team through the air and ground this weekend and I don’t think the Titans will pull this win out despite the fact that the Redskins pass defense is one of the worst in the league. One minute you love Vince Young, and the next minute you scratch your head. I don’t know what they will be playing for this weekend but I know the Redskins will be playing to redeem their last week’s loss. That is why I like the Redskins on the road this weekend. I think Keiland Williams is a good fantasy start and I believe Santana Moss will be a fantasy sleeper this weekend and should be started in all formats. Chris Johnson and Randy Moss should put up solid numbers this weekend, but don’t expect either one of them to carry your fantasy team on its shoulders.  I like the Redskins to win 20-17.



Fantasy Previews (1 O’clock Breakdowns)

By Alan Squatrito


Bills vs. Lions

The Bills have their greatest chance this week to get their first win playing at home. They play the Lions with Matthew Stafford out with a shoulder separation. Shaun Hill is as good of a backup you can possibly have and it won’t be easy for the Bills to stop him. I expect this to be a very good game down the wire and I also expect Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best to be great flex fantasy plays this weekend. Calvin Johnson was shut down last weekend against the Jets but I think he will bounce back in a big way. I like Steve Johnson to have a good fantasy numbers as well for a number two wide out this week. The Lions gave up an average of 3.7 yards a carry last weekend so Fred Jackson should be contained but will have a decent day. C.J. Spiller has a lot more upside, they just need to give him the ball.


Bears vs. Vikings

The Vikings squeaked out a much-needed win last week but they only started to play well when their backs were against the wall against one of the worst teams in football. Luckily for the Vikings their defense finally stepped up to play getting 6 sacks in the game. They had six sacks all season prior to week 9. The Chicago Bears offensive line has major problems protecting Cutler and they barely give him time to throw the deep ball. I picture Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Devin Hester having the most impact this week for the Bears. Devin Hester is due to have at least one breakout game this season. Besides Percy Harvin, Greg Camarillo seems to have the most upside as a wide receiver for the Vikings with Bernard Berrian questionable with a groin injury. Coach Childress also said that Camarillo will be on the field a lot more going forward. I like Shiancoe in this game as well because he is a clutch player and a much-needed go to guy for Favre. I am not a big fan of Forte this weekend unless they spread him out wide for a couple nice plays. All in all I like the Vikings to win this game in Soldier Field because they are still in do or die mode and are looking forward to Sidney Rice coming back on the field soon to give them better chances to win games outright going forward. There is a chance Rice plays in this game, but don’t expect a big workload if he does play.


Browns vs. Jets

The Jets are giving up 3.7 yards a carry on the ground and an average of 16 points a game to their opponents. With Peyton Hillis carrying their team each week I expect him to struggle this week against a solid Jets run defense. To make matters worse Colt McCoy is going to have another difficult challenge to deal with this weekend against Rex Ryan’s blitz first defense. They come from all over the place. Don’t get me wrong I can picture Peyton Hillis having a decent fantasy day, but not enough to carry over for a Browns’ win. I like Ladanian Tomlinson a little more than Shonn Greene this week despite that they are both good plays. Ryan has said it will be a 50/50 split, will see. Look for Santonio Holmes to have another good game and Jets defense to have an event better one. This really should be a blowout as long as the Jets don’t turn the ball over.



Colts vs. Bengals

Ochocinco was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday despite an ankle injury he sustained during week 9 vs. the Steelers. If the Bengals don’t win this game, they will definitely keep it close. Can the Bengals lose 6 times in a row? Cedric Benson and Ochocinco will have great games this week, as well as Carson Palmer. This game will probably go back and forth and there will probably be one huge turnover in the game to differentiate the difference of which team wins and loses. I don’t picture Donald Brown having the best fantasy day even if Bengals do let up 4.2 yards a carry. He is a low fantasy flex. I like Jacob Tamme and Pierre Garcon. Would I be surprised if Reggie Wayne had the best game of the wide receivers for the Colts? No, I would not be that surprised, but I think the Bengals defense is going to step up and I believe they are going to win this one on the road.

Jaguars vs. Texans

The Jags always give the Texans a tough time, but Schaub hasn’t been playing his best as a quarterback in the last couple of games. I don’t think he can be brought down for too long and I believe he will explode this game along with Joel Dreessen, Andre Johnson, and of course Arian Foster. I like Garrard as a number one quarterback as well and I expect Mike Sims-Walker to have a big day. This game can and should very likely go back and forth with two potent offenses and not so potent defenses facing off. I like the Texans to start competing again and beat the Jaguars this Sunday.

Dolphins vs. Titans

What a battle this game is going to be. Coach Sparano is sitting Chad Henne who has a 62 quarterback rating and is starting his old buddy Chad Pennington. This seems to be the smarter move with Henne playing poorly lately despite the great caliber teams they have beaten thus far. I don’t know if Davone Bess will keep up his consistent 6-9 catches a game but I can assure you that Chad Pennington will be very accurate with all his throws. I think that Ronnie Brown will have a good game and is a solid number two running back. Brandon Marshall needs to step up his play and stop dropping so many balls. I think he will turn it around and help the Dolphins get a much-needed win at home; this will be their first home win this season. Randy Moss usually owns the Dolphins and I expect him to have a big day with Kerry Collins (a.k.a. The Statue) throwing deep to him a few times this game. This is going to be a great game.


Buccaneers vs. Panthers

This game isn’t last on my list for a reason, but now that it is, sure why not. This is the worst game of the week with Mike Goodson starting at running back and rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen running the show. Yuck. The Buccaneers defense plays well at home and I expect them to play exceptionally well this weekend. Goodson is known to have fumbling problems and Clausen is known to have throwing interception problems. LeGarrette Blount will be a solid number one start this weekend and he will chew off the clock in the fourth to close the game out. I expect Mike Williams to keep his great play continuing but I also like Kellen Winslow to emerge this weekend as the coaching staff was talking earlier in the week how they want to devise a game plan to get him more involved. This should be a blowout.